I found myself visiting an old friend a couple days ago, the Oprah® community, after I discovered links to the old forum appeared to have been reactivated. But you really can't go home again, as it has dramatically changed, with far more limited community involvement than the old days. None of the old content is accessible either, though that doesn't surprise me.
Even so, I couldn't help but post a quick reply to someone who was insisting the most horrendous of eternal "justice" was simply "logical", even for a loving God. As always, I posted with the pseudonym bridgebldr:
Here is what I believe on this life-changing topic...Hell and eternal punishment cannot exist in the Presence of eternal Love. Nothing can supersede the Infinite Love of God. It's really that simple. It is not possible for me to both believe that God is Love and believe in eternal punishment. For me, these concepts are infinitely incompatible.
Unconditional Divine Love does not pick an instant in time to judge someone and throw away the key. Unconditional Divine Love does not place the infinite fates of vulnerable people at the mercy of supposed supernatural deception and call that "free choice". Unconditional Love is indeed about free choice, but Unconditional Love always chooses to heal and restore, not judge and abandon, no matter how long it takes for everyone to freely choose Love, as the expression of an infinite omnipresent God. There are no deadlines. There are no exclusions. There is only the enduring patience of omnipresent Infinite Love. I truly believe that anything less diminishes God.
The voices of logic and Love both make it clear that punitive justice is not really any sort of "justice" at all, not if I choose to believe in a Loving God (or a truly civilized, loving, productive society). Punitive justice is wasteful, cruel and destructive (much like punitive parenting). It uses fear and control to instill desired behaviors, the most limiting of motivations. Anything based in fear cannot endure.
I received a couple of responses, one affirming my post and the other from the original poster, reasserting his position, very specifically limiting what God can and cannot do to assist those who have "sinned". My reply unfortunately was apparently disallowed due to what is now a much more limited format, but I'm happy to give it here:
I have a question for you. Do you believe God can do anything? Do you believe God is all-powerful, indeed omnipotent? I believe God can do anything. There are no "can nots" associated with those God can assist, as that would limit God in a fatal way, in fact rendering Satan victorious over those unfortunate souls deceived into an eternity in hell, with their fate so ironclad that even God can't supposedly reverse it.
That's why I believe there is NO hell because if hell exists, "Satan" wins, and God would not be all-powerful. If God must EVER give up on even one beloved created being, indeed even give up on "Satan" himself (if Satan existed), then that would limit God's power to heal and restore, to infinitely Love. The Spirit of which you speak does indeed exist, for that Spirit can teach and heal anyone given enough time, such that they will freely choose to Love.
Perhaps the time has finally come to let go of my old discussion forum days. Perhaps the time has finally come to truly embark on something new...Yet I make no more promises. I will simply write in the moment.